Surveying Services - The Degree of Difference

Lifestyle Opportunity in New Minden Zone

Published July 2011

Now that the Western Bay District Council has rezoned a significant area for lifestyle living we are going to see some major changes and opportunities in that area. A large tract of land stretching roughly from the Wairoa River to the Te Puna stream on the inland side of the state highway has been rezoned to enable sections averaging 4000 square metres. This area extends up to Minden lookout and beyond, including Crawford, Vernon and Junction Roads. This area will offer a range of lifestyle opportunities and section sizes with many needing to be much larger due to the difficult contour and access constraints.

Having been rezoned in the February 2009 review of the District Plan, Council needed to carry out a structure plan to determine how the area will be serviced with roading and other services prior to approving any subdivisions. I have been involved in this public process which is now reaching a conclusion. With two rounds of Council hearings completed Council must be close to announcing its final decision. Then the way will be clear to subdivide in this zone, subject to any appeal to the Environment Court.

Judging by the waning interest at the time of the second hearings I feel that there is not a high probability that the structure plan will be challenged. If that is the case Western Bay can be congratulated on the speed at which they have finalised this structure plan, commencing a little over twelve months ago following Council's Decision on the new zoning.

There has been little subdivision activity in the Western Bay since the District Plan review took away the rights of many in the Rural Zone to subdivide. Most of these people can now only transfer their subdivision rights to those in the Lifestyle Zone for around $20,000. Those with land 'in the zone' will currently have to outlay that amount for each lot that they create.

We do expect there will still be limits placed on the number of sections allowed to be subdivided until NZ Transport Agency carry out some much needed safety improvements to the highway or state finances allow the proposed Tauranga Northern Link to progress. We know this will affect some areas more than others but should still allow significant development to occur.

If you own land in this area and wish to call me I am happy to share my experience and insight into these developing rules and how they could affect your plans to develop your land in the future.

By Brent Trail Managing Director

Brent Trail, Managing Director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. For further information call 07 578 2500 or email

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